Thomas G. Lowe, R. G. Burwell, P. H. Dangerfield

January 2004, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 257 - 265 Innovations Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-003-0655-3

First Online: 09 January 2004

There is no generally accepted scientific theory for the etiology of idiopathic scoliosis. As part of its mission to widen understanding of scoliosis etiology, the International Federated Body on Scoliosis Etiology (IBSE) introduced the electronic focus group (EFG) as a means of increasing debate of extant knowledge on important topics. This has been designated as an on-line Delphi discussion. The text for this EFG was written by Professor Thomas G Lowe MD and drawn from research carried out by himself and his co-workers on platelet calmodulin levels in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. To explain the relationship of platelet calmodulin levels to scoliosis curve changes in AIS brought about spontaneously, by brace treatment, or surgery Dr Lowe attributes the platelet calmodulin changes to paraspinous muscle activity and suggests that the calmodulin acts as a systemic mediator of tissues having a contractile system (actin and myosin). Controversy includes: 1) the lack of normal data and the large variability in baseline levels of platelet calmodulin, necessitating the use of the AIS subjects as their own controls; 2) calmodulin is not usually used as a marker of platelet activation; 3) whether the platelet calmodulin changes which appear to reflect an abnormality of a portion of the spine are related to local and/or regional changes in muscles, nervous system, or immature vertebrae. What is not controversial is the need for more research on platelets and the immature deforming skeleton in relation to etiology and prognosis.

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